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Kāmadā Ekādaśī

The glories of Kāmadā ekādaśī is described in Varāha Purāṇa in the conversation between Lord Kṛṣṇa and Mahārāja Yudhiṣṭhira.

Once Mahārāja Yudhiṣṭhira asked Lord Kṛṣṇa the crown of Yadu Dynasty. O Lord Vāsudeva! Please accept my humble obeisances. O my Lord! Please describe to me about the ekādaśī that occurs during the waxing moon in the month of March/April. Also explain to me the procedure for observing this ekādaśī and what is its benefit?

Lord Kṛṣṇa replied, ‘My dear Mahārāja Yudhiṣṭhira please hear attentively the description of this ekādaśī which is recorded in the Purāṇa. Once when Mahārāja Dilīpa, the great grandfather of Lord Rāmacandra asked his spiritual master sage Vasiṣṭha about the name and procedure for observing the ekādaśī which occurs during the waxing moon in the month of March/April.

Sage Vasiṣṭha replied, ‘O King! I will certainly fulfill your desire. The name of this ekādaśī is Kāmadā. This sacred ekādaśī burns all ones sinful reactions to ashes and awards the observer the privilege of having a son. Now please hear its glories from me.

Long ago there existed a city named Ratnapura (Bhogīpura). This opulent city was ruled by a king named Puṇḍarīka. He was accompanied by his subjects that includes the Gandharvas. Kinnaras and the Apsarās. In that city a beautiful Apsarā named Lalitā and a handsome Gandharva named Lalita lived as a husband and wife. Both of them were overwhelmed by each others love and they constantly remained engaged in various sporting activities at their opulent house. The love for her husband in the heart of Lalitā
and the love for his wife in the heart of Lalita was so intense that they were unable to tolerate a movements separation from each other.

One time in the court of King Puṇḍarīka many Gandharvas were singing and dancing and Lalita also sang with them without his wife. Due to absence of Lalitā, Lalita’s voice, tune, steps and wordings became faulty. Among the audience there was a snake named Karkoṭaka who new about this mystery. So he went and complained to King Puṇḍarīka about the actual truth of Lalita’s behavior. Then the king became extremely angry and cursed Lalita as follows. ‘ O sinful one! O fool! Being controlled by the lust of your wife you have disturbed the singing and dancing. So I curse you to become a man eater cannibal.

O best of the king being cursed by King Puṇḍarīka Lalita immediately transformed into a great demon. When Lalitā saw her husbands such an unbelievable and fears looking form she became extremely hurt. With intense distress she spent her days and nights simply thinking what should I do and where can I go. Giving up all embarrassment she lived with her husband in the forest.

Once while wondering within the dense forest with her husband Lalitā saw the most sacred āśrama of the sage Śṛṅgī at the peak of Vindhya Mountain. Lalitā immediately went there and offered her respectful obeisances to the sage. Upon seeing this lady the sage inquired O beautiful one who are you?

Whose daughter are you? Why have you come here? Lalitā replied, ‘ O great soul I am the daughter of the Gandharva named Vṛndāvana. My name is Lalitā. I have come here with my cursed husband. O great sage! My husband has become a demon by the curse of the Gandharva king Puṇḍarīka. O brāhmaṇa! I am greatly distressed by seeing his terrible and ferocious form. O my Lord! Kindly explain to me the process of atonement by which my husband can become liberated from the curse. O best of the brāhmaṇas!

Please instruct in such a way that his demoniac condition of life is removed. After hearing Lalitā’s pathetic request the great sage Śṛṅgī said, O daughter of the Gandharva! In a few days time an ekādaśī named Kāmadā which occurs during the waxing moon in the
month of March-April will approach.

By strictly following the vow of this ekādaśī all ones’ desires are fulfilled. O gentle lady! According to my instruction you observe this vow of ekādaśī and give the entire merit which you have earned by observing this vow to your husband. Then by the influence of this merit your husband will immediately become freed from the curse.

O King! Being instructed in this way by the sage Lalitā gladly observed the vow of this ekādaśī. On the day of dvādaśī Lalitā sat in front of the brāhmaṇas and the Supreme Lord Vāsudeva and declared, ‘ I have observed the vow of Kāmadā ekādaśī to relieve my husband from the curse. Now by the influence of my earned piety let my husband be freed from the demoniac condition of life. At that time her husband turned demon Lalita was present there. As soon as Lalitā finished her prayer her demon husband became freed from all sins and regained his divine Gandharva form. Thereafter both Lalita and Lalitā lived their lives happily.

Lord Kṛṣṇa continued, “O Mahārāja Yudhiṣṭhira! O best of the Kings! Any one who hears this wonderful narration of Kāmadā ekādaśī should certainly observe it to the best of its ability. There is no better vow of ekādaśī then this Kāmadā ekādaśī for it can eradicate even the sin of killing a brāhmaṇa and counteract the demoniac curses.

Ekādaśī is the mother of Kṛṣṇa- Bhakti, love and affection. If you do not follow ekādaśī, Kṛṣṇa- Bhakti will never come.